That most German of composers, Wagner, had a consistent and interesting relationship with France throughout his life. From 1848 when he stood on a revolutionary barricade fired with the spirit of the French revolution to the rewriting of Tannhauser at the behest of the Emperor Napoleon. Indeed, the disastrous premiere of Tannhäuser in Paris in 1861, when laughter and whistling broke out and the whole was invaded by members of the 'Jockey Club', brought the curtain down on Wagner's attempts to conquer Paris, the capital city of Opera. Professor Tim Blanning and Dr. Sarah Hibberd swap notes on Wagner's very personal Franco-German alliance.
Producer: James Cook.